Congress, AAP slam BJP over black money issue
Congress on Wednesday attacked the BJP saying the party had "befooled" the public on the issue of black money during the elections and asked what happened to its promise of bringing back the funds stashed abroad .
Slamming the ruling party for making "tall" promises during Lok Sabha polls, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the govt had vowed to disclose "55,000 accounts" during the election campaign but "even Rs 55 has not come in five months" after it came to power.
"It is wrong for any political party to try to fool the people by taking credit for anything. You have been promising as a party in power some 55,000 accounts some nine months in the election campaign. Even Rs 55 has not come in five months. What you have done today is entirely on yesterday's court order," Singhvi said.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said, "During the last five years, BJP has been shouting that if they have the names, they will make it public and bring back the black money within 100 days and distribute it among the public.
"So, they have to stand by their words. LK Advani had come up with an adjournment motion in 2011 on the issue of black money. Therefore, the government should immediately make public all those names."
The Congress' attack on the black money issue came as the Centre placed a list of 627 Indian account holders before the Supreme Court.
The BJP, however, insisted that that the Centre was sincere in its intention to bring back the black money and was effectively working in this direction.
Defending the action of presenting the names before the apex court, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said government is sensitive to the issue, is sincere in its actions and is working in this direction effectively.
To a question on government bowing to the SC order while disclosing names, he said, "It is not a question of bowing down. Our intention is to bring back the black money wherever it is parked in the world.
"There is a legal process and the government is working strongly in this direction." Naqvi said the government has entered into understanding with other countries and encouraged them to cooperate and with Special Investigation Team (SIT).
"This resulted in disclosure of some things one after another. The government has respected whatever the court has said and whatever the information the government had, it has given it," he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also slammed the government and accused it of sparing the "big fish" holding black money abroad.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said the revelations of black money account holders should not be selective. "There should not be selective revelation of names. The big fish are being let off," he told the media.
Kejriwal had on Tuesday moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking to be heard in the black money case. The former Delhi chief minister claimed he had personal knowledge of some people who have stashed money in foreign banks.
However, the apex court did not allow Kejriwal's plea to provide additional information on the issue to the SIT, saying that it will consider his petition on next date of hearing on December 3.
The Centre in its affidavit on October 27, had disclosed eight names including that of Pradip Burman, one of Dabur India promoters, a bullion trader and Goa miners against whom it has started prosecution for allegedly stashing black money, saying that all the names of account holders cannot be disclosed unless there is a "prima facie" evidence of wrongdoing.
Rejecting the Centre's stand, the Supreme Court had on Tuesday ordered it to disclose all the names of Indian bank account holders abroad in a sealed envelope.